OT: Safety is an Illusion

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Submitted by paramount on December 15, 2012 - 3:11pm

May 1927 - 38 elementary school children, two teachers, four other adults and the bomber himself killed. Bath, Michigan

July 1984 - James Oliver Huberty kills 21 people (including five children) and injured 19 others. McDonalds, San Ysidro, California

April 1999 - two teenage schoolboys shot and killed 12 schoolmates and a teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, before killing themselves.

July 1999 - a stock exchange trader in Atlanta, Georgia, killed 12 people including his wife and two children before taking his own life.

September 1999 - a gunman opened fire at a prayer service in Fort Worth, Texas, killing six people before committing suicide.

October 2002 - a series of sniper-style shootings occurred in Washington DC, leaving 10 dead.

August 2003 - in Chicago, a laid-off worker shot and killed six of his former workmates.

November 2004 - in Birchwood, Wisconsin, a hunter killed six other hunters and wounded two others after an argument with them.

March 2005 - a man opened fire at a church service in Brookfield, Wisconsin, killing seven people.

October 2006 - a truck driver killed five schoolgirls and seriously wounded six others in a school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania before taking his own life.

April 2007 - student Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people and wounded 15 others at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, before shooting himself, making it the deadliest mass shooting in the United States after 2000.

August 2007 - Three Delaware State University students were shot and killed in “execution style” by a 28-year-old and two 15-year-old boys. A fourth student was shot and stabbed.

December 2007 - a 20-year-old man killed nine people and injured five others in a shopping center in Omaha, Nebraska.

December 2007 - a woman and her boyfriend shot dead six members of her family on Christmas Eve in Carnation, Washington.

February 2008 - a shooter who is still at large tied up and shot six women at a suburban clothing store in Chicago, leaving five of them dead and the remaining one injured.

February 2008 - a man opened fire in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, killing five students and wounding 16 others before laying down his weapon and surrendering.

September 2008 - a mentally ill man who was released from jail one month earlier shot eight people in Alger, Washington, leaving six of them dead and the rest two wounded.

December 2008 - a man dressed in a Santa Claus suit opened fire at a family Christmas party in Covina, California, then set fire on the house and killed himself. Police later found nine people dead in the debris of the house.

March 2009 - a 28-year-old laid-off worker opened fire while driving a car through several towns in Alabama, killing 10 people.

March 2009 - a heavily armed gunman shot dead eight people, many of them elderly and sick people, in a private-owned nursing home in North Carolina.

March 2009 - six people were shot dead in a high-grade apartment building in Santa Clara, California.

April 2009 - a man shot dead 13 people at a civic center in Binghamton, New York.

July 2009 - Six people, including one student, were shot in a drive-by shooting at a community rally on the campus of Texas Southern University, Houston.

November 2009 - U.S. army psychologist Major Nidal Hasan opened fire at a military base in Fort Hood, Texas, leaving 13 dead and 42 others wounded.

February 2010 – A professor opened fire 50 minutes into at a Biological Sciences Department faculty meeting at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, killing three colleagues and wounding three others.

January 2011 - a gunman opened fire at a public gathering outside a grocery in Tucson, Arizona, killing six people including a 9-year-old girl and wounding at least 12 others. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was severely injured with a gunshot to the head.

April 2 - A gunman kills seven people and wounds three in a shooting rampage at a Christian college in Oakland.

July 20 - A masked gunman kills 12 people and wounds 58 when he opens fire on moviegoers at a showing of the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, a suburb of Denver, Colorado.

Aug. 5 - A gunman kills six people during Sunday services at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, before he is shot dead by a police officer.

Aug. 24 - Two people are killed and eight wounded in a shooting outside the landmark Empire State Building in New York City at the height of the tourist season.

Sept. 27 - A disgruntled former employee kills five people and takes his own life in a shooting rampage at a Minneapolis sign company from which he had been fired.

Oct. 21 - Three people are killed in a Milwaukee area spa including the estranged wife of the suspected gunman, who then killed himself.

Dec. 11 - Two people were killed when a gunman opened fire Tuesday at a mall outside Portland, Oregon.

Dec. 14 - A shooter opens fire at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, killing 26 people including children.

Submitted by Blogstar on December 15, 2012 - 3:51pm.

So, is it correct to call it an epidemic at this point in time?

Submitted by SK in CV on December 15, 2012 - 4:13pm.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was something....anything...that could be done to reduce the likelihood of these kinds of events happening. I can't imagine what it might be. But whatever it might be, we can't ever dare mention the elephant in the room.

Submitted by paramount on December 15, 2012 - 4:19pm.

Blogstar wrote:
So, is it correct to call it an epidemic at this point in time?

I'm no expert, but I think it's correct - and I haven't heard that mentioned by the media BTW.

Having said that, most children are hurt by someone they know.

Submitted by Blogstar on December 15, 2012 - 4:32pm.

paramount wrote:
Blogstar wrote:
So, is it correct to call it an epidemic at this point in time?

I'm no expert, but I think it's correct - and I haven't heard that mentioned by the media BTW.

Having said that, most children are hurt by someone they know.

Those children being hurt by people they know could be part of the epidemic. Same as ghetto violence. It's all violence.

I think this; When greed and violence are condoned in all "legitimate" entities in a society, how can we expect the ignorant and unstable to buffer it in themselves?

Submitted by flyer on December 15, 2012 - 5:54pm.

Speaking of "epidemics." IMHO, there seems to be "epidemic" of insanity at the core of these horrific acts. I have many opinions as to why this "mind or mindless set" is escalating within society, but I'll leave that discussion to the experts.

This growing "insanity factor" makes these occurences all the more frightening, since there is really very little we can do to control this type of wild card as a society--confirming the "Safety is an Illusion" premise of the OP.

Submitted by jpinpb on December 15, 2012 - 6:43pm.

There's a lot of mentally ill and seriously troubled people out there that are not receiving proper healthcare/treatment.

Submitted by paramount on December 15, 2012 - 7:40pm.

From Morgan Freeman on the Sandy Hook Tragedy

"You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here's why.

It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN's article says that if the body count "holds up", this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer's face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer's identity? None that I've seen yet. Because they don't sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news."

Submitted by FormerOwner on December 15, 2012 - 7:50pm.

I wonder how many of these recent mass-murderers WERE being treated and were taking prescription anti-depressants. I know several people that are on them (some since childhood) and I think some anti-depresants can CAUSE people to have crazy irrational thoughts and possibly even permanentaly alter the brain. You will never hear anything about this in the mainstream media since the pharma companies are MAJOR advertisers. There is a good Frontline episode entitled "The Medicated Child" that goes into some of this but really focuses on young children. What happens when they become adults though? There is a lot of information on the web about this - such as:
http://www.anh-usa.org/take-this-antidep...

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on December 15, 2012 - 10:32pm.

SK in CV wrote:
Wouldn't it be nice if there was something....anything...that could be done to reduce the likelihood of these kinds of events happening. I can't imagine what it might be. But whatever it might be, we can't ever dare mention the elephant in the room.

SK: I'm presuming you mean gun control? How would a gun ban have prevented this? The .223 Bushmaster he used was a pre-ban weapon acquired legally in 1993.

Metro cities like NYC and Chicago that have extremely stringent gun laws still unfortunately have high rates of gun violence (because the criminal element is acquiring the guns elsewhere.). Which would mean a nationwide ban on ALL guns, which I'm guessing is that proverbial elephant in the room.

Submitted by paramount on December 15, 2012 - 11:07pm.

The issues surrounding these atrocities are difficult, I was recalling today that the gov't used a type of tank to incinerate more than 20 children in Waco, Texas in 1993.

Submitted by ltsdd on December 15, 2012 - 11:07pm.

Guns sure make it a lot deadlier and more efficient at killing people. On the same day this happened, a crazy man in China stabbed 22 children. Same intent, different weapons, different results.

Link

Submitted by KIBU on December 15, 2012 - 11:45pm.

When the FDA withdraw medications because of its adverse effect to a very small number of people/cases...American don't go to congress and lobby to get back that medication for their rights to treat their justified indication. When the guns while serving the "liberty" purpose, the "self defense" purpose, the hobby and entertainment purpose, but also have the side effects of accidental deaths, mass massacre, murders by gun....nobody dares talking about a "recall" or a "withdrawal" like the FDA can...even when many more people died by gun in this country than all the side effects of medications could ever kill people.

There are differences between the two, yes. But the analogy shows how we look at and solve things differently independently of how many people die. Our cost/benefit analysis is out of whack.

Submitted by beatrix on December 16, 2012 - 12:14am.

There are many facets to this issue, and simplifying it to a presumed desire to " ban guns" is one reason it rages on, in my opinion and deep sadness. As n example, see
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/12/15...

Submitted by paramount on December 16, 2012 - 2:03am.

No rise in mass killings, but their impact is huge
By HELEN O'NEILL | Associated Press – 13 hrs ago

Grant Duwe, a criminologist with the Minnesota Department of Corrections who has written a history of mass murders in America, said that while mass shootings rose between the 1960s and the 1990s, they actually dropped in the 2000s. And mass killings actually reached their peak in 1929, according to his data. He estimates that there were 32 in the 1980s, 42 in the 1990s and 26 in the first decade of the century.

Chances of being killed in a mass shooting, he says, are probably no greater than being struck by lightning.

Submitted by CA renter on December 16, 2012 - 5:15am.

paramount wrote:
From Morgan Freeman on the Sandy Hook Tragedy

"You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here's why.

It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN's article says that if the body count "holds up", this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer's face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer's identity? None that I've seen yet. Because they don't sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news."

Ding, ding, ding!!!!

All too often, these are people who are desperate for attention, and what better way to get attention than to kill innocent people, especially children. We need to stop making these stories bigger than they really are. Not trying to minimize it, but many more people die in car accidents **every day,** and they are missed every bit as much as those who die in high-profile homicide cases. We need to stop sensationalizing mass murders.

Top this off with our insane glorification of violence and the lack of empathy spawned by extremely violent video games and movies -- especially when viewed/played by young people whose minds are still developing -- and it's easy to see how these violent episodes happen. I'd also suggest that the overuse of technology, as opposed to having more person-to-person contact, is leading to young people who are less and less empathetic as time goes by.

IMHO, it is the lack of empathy, which some would call a mental illness, that is responsible for these violent attacks. This is what we need to address.

-----------------

As for gun deaths in the U.S., we're #1 in gun ownership, but other countries, some with much stricter gun laws, they have much higher gun homicide rates. FWIW, most gun deaths in this country are suicide-related.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cou...

For drug overdose death rates:

http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsa...

Submitted by CA renter on December 16, 2012 - 5:36am.

Interesting article about prescription drugs:

"While most major causes of preventable death are declining, drugs are an exception. The death toll has doubled in the last decade, now claiming a life every 14 minutes. By contrast, traffic accidents have been dropping for decades because of huge investments in auto safety.

Public health experts have used the comparison to draw attention to the nation's growing prescription drug problem, which they characterize as an epidemic. This is the first time that drugs have accounted for more fatalities than traffic accidents since the government started tracking drug-induced deaths in 1979.

Fueling the surge in deaths are prescription pain and anxiety drugs that are potent, highly addictive and especially dangerous when combined with one another or with other drugs or alcohol. Among the most commonly abused are OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax and Soma. One relative newcomer to the scene is Fentanyl, a painkiller that comes in the form of patches and lollipops and is 100 times more powerful than morphine.

Such drugs now cause more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined."

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/17/...

Marijuana, OTOH, has caused no known deaths.

If we really wanted to save lives, we'd outlaw many of these prescription drugs and make marijuana legal. It would probably help people who are prone to violence, too.
-------------

The bottom line is that we have to stop glorifying violence, rednecks, gang culture, etc. and start encouraging people to have more personal contact with others instead of texting (or blogging!) all day long. We also need to have a comprehensive plan for dealing with mentally ill people. Putting them out on the streets is not the answer.

Submitted by SK in CV on December 16, 2012 - 9:00am.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:
SK in CV wrote:
Wouldn't it be nice if there was something....anything...that could be done to reduce the likelihood of these kinds of events happening. I can't imagine what it might be. But whatever it might be, we can't ever dare mention the elephant in the room.

SK: I'm presuming you mean gun control? How would a gun ban have prevented this? The .223 Bushmaster he used was a pre-ban weapon acquired legally in 1993.

Metro cities like NYC and Chicago that have extremely stringent gun laws still unfortunately have high rates of gun violence (because the criminal element is acquiring the guns elsewhere.). Which would mean a nationwide ban on ALL guns, which I'm guessing is that proverbial elephant in the room.

I think there is something between what we have now and a nationwide ban on all guns. The fact that it may have been acquired legally is the point. Is there a good reason why that particular gun is legal?

I do understand the inherent problems in gun control. Make them (or some of them) illegal, and only criminals have them. This gun was owned by a non-criminal. If it was illegal to own, would she have owned it? I've seen no evidence that she was a criminal. (Though there have been some allusions that she may have been a bit whacked.)

I am somewhat sympathetic to the RKBA arguments. In theory anyway. Though many seem hollow, inconsistent, and often hypocritical.

Submitted by flu on December 16, 2012 - 12:54pm.

There is no answer to this problem.. Unless you outright ban guns, someone is always gonna find a way around rules or bend them to get a gun.

What happened in conn, you have to ask how the son (which was already diagnosed with something that probably indicated he was a pseudo-sociopath) had a gun, that apparently the mother bought for him.

Question #1: why did the mother need to buy the gun for the son to begin with? (Me thinks because probably the son couldn't get one himself).

Question #2: what sane parent would buy a kid with a pseudo-sociopath diagnosis a gun (unless the parent was in denial).

My personal opinion? The mother was 100% to blame.Well maybe not 100% (but close to it)...

Anyone who buys a gun for someone else is just asking for it..

And there lies the problem....In order for this not to happen, people with the ability to purchase guns for someone else has to be capable of exercising good judgement....A lot of people don't have that..No amount of legislation, or background check, or regulation is gonna "fix" this issue...unless we outright ban guns.

So we either live an a country with no guns, or we live with the consequences that things like this will always happen. Anything else in between ain't gonna work...

Pick your poison pill.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on December 16, 2012 - 11:46am.

SK: I'll need to verify this, but the DailyKos article beatrix cited indicated that the Bushmaster rifle was in the car at the time of the shooting, which means the shootings were carried out with a Glock and Sig-Sauer semi-automatic pistol.

My point is this: The Bushmaster would have been banned under the Clinton-era legislation, but the pistols wouldn't (they would, however, have been limited to 10rd magazines). As a former soldier, SK, you're well aware of how much damage you can inflict with a handgun and how quickly magazines can be exchanged, even reduced capacity 10rd magazines.

For that matter, a 12ga pump shotgun is an equally devastating weapon close-in. You can walk into Big5 and buy a Mossberg or Remington over the counter.

You don't need a Bushmaster, or an AK, to commit this kind of horrific act, which leaves you with a complete gun ban as the answer.

Submitted by SK in CV on December 16, 2012 - 2:13pm.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:
SK: I'll need to verify this, but the DailyKos article beatrix cited indicated that the Bushmaster rifle was in the car at the time of the shooting, which means the shootings were carried out with a Glock and Sig-Sauer semi-automatic pistol.

My point is this: The Bushmaster would have been banned under the Clinton-era legislation, but the pistols wouldn't (they would, however, have been limited to 10rd magazines). As a former soldier, SK, you're well aware of how much damage you can inflict with a handgun and how quickly magazines can be exchanged, even reduced capacity 10rd magazines.

For that matter, a 12ga pump shotgun is an equally devastating weapon close-in. You can walk into Big5 and buy a Mossberg or Remington over the counter.

You don't need a Bushmaster, or an AK, to commit this kind of horrific act, which leaves you with a complete gun ban as the answer.

I was watching the news much of the day on Friday, and heard that same thing repeated during the day, that the Bushmaster was found in the car. But the ME said that every body he autopsied was shot by the long gun. (I saw the interview, it wasn't someone reporting that he said it.) And all slugs recovered from all the victims were all .223s. All with more than a single wound, the 7 he performed, all had 3-11 slugs.

Use of legal pistols only may not have prevented it from happening. But it may have reduced the number of casualties.

Submitted by paramount on December 16, 2012 - 3:08pm.

CA renter wrote:
We also need to have a comprehensive plan for dealing with mentally ill people. Putting them out on the streets is not the answer.

I agree, the other thing that comes to mind is that not all mentally ill are or will be criminals.

Submitted by mike92104 on December 16, 2012 - 3:23pm.

The problem with the gun control argument is the assumption that a person willing to carry out such horrific acts would care whether the gun was legal or not.

Submitted by SK in CV on December 16, 2012 - 3:30pm.

mike92104 wrote:
The problem with the gun control argument is the assumption that a person willing to carry out such horrific acts would care whether the gun was legal or not.

Well that pretty much sums it up. Criminals don't obey laws. Therefore, don't make laws.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on December 16, 2012 - 4:06pm.

SK: I agree that pistols only would likely have reduced the number of casualties. The Bushmaster is a semi-auto version of the M-16/M-4 and generally feeds from a 30rd magazine. We were taught to fire semi-auto, for accuracy and control, and you can put a lot of .223 out, even in semi-auto. It's a nasty round, no doubt about it and designed for the single purpose of creating an inoperable wound channel.

That said, I remain torn on gun control for assault rifles. I recently attended an Active Shooter scenario in downtown San Francisco. The SFPD SWAT team had fully auto M-4s, concussion grenades and looked virtually indistinguishable from a full-blown military unit. One of them joked about "shock and awe" following their breaching maneuver and I remembered thinking that we live in a different world now and that I mistrust my government now more than ever.

Perhaps this sounds overly paranoid to you, but the thought of voluntarily disarming myself in the face of ever-increasing government intrusion and control just doesn't seem like a good idea.

Submitted by SK in CV on December 16, 2012 - 4:49pm.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:

Perhaps this sounds overly paranoid to you, but the thought of voluntarily disarming myself in the face of ever-increasing government intrusion and control just doesn't seem like a good idea.

I totally get that part. I happen to fear government intrusion only slightly less than I fear those more paranoid than you, those accumulating both weapons and ammunition in anticipation of what they see as an inevitably necessary armed resurrection.

Submitted by flyer on December 16, 2012 - 5:36pm.

SK in CV wrote:
Allan from Fallbrook wrote:

Perhaps this sounds overly paranoid to you, but the thought of voluntarily disarming myself in the face of ever-increasing government intrusion and control just doesn't seem like a good idea.

I totally get that part. I happen to fear government intrusion only slightly less than I fear those more paranoid than you, those accumulating both weapons and ammunition in anticipation of what they see as an inevitably necessary armed resurrection.

Personally, I think both opinions above represent valid concerns, but, sadly, I think far more insidious elements (debt, unemployment, etc., etc.) have, are, and will continue to destroy the quality of life for present and future generations to a far greater degree.

Submitted by ocrenter on December 16, 2012 - 6:29pm.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:
SK: I agree that pistols only would likely have reduced the number of casualties. The Bushmaster is a semi-auto version of the M-16/M-4 and generally feeds from a 30rd magazine. We were taught to fire semi-auto, for accuracy and control, and you can put a lot of .223 out, even in semi-auto. It's a nasty round, no doubt about it and designed for the single purpose of creating an inoperable wound channel.

That said, I remain torn on gun control for assault rifles. I recently attended an Active Shooter scenario in downtown San Francisco. The SFPD SWAT team had fully auto M-4s, concussion grenades and looked virtually indistinguishable from a full-blown military unit. One of them joked about "shock and awe" following their breaching maneuver and I remembered thinking that we live in a different world now and that I mistrust my government now more than ever.

Perhaps this sounds overly paranoid to you, but the thought of voluntarily disarming myself in the face of ever-increasing government intrusion and control just doesn't seem like a good idea.

To me, I simply can not envision any reason for the possession of semi-automatics other than to join the militia or something like that.

Submitted by spdrun on December 16, 2012 - 6:30pm.

Basically all pistols sold other than revolvers are semi-auto.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on December 16, 2012 - 6:58pm.

spdrun wrote:
Basically all pistols sold other than revolvers are semi-auto.

Spdrun: Um, yeah, not so much. A pistol is a pistol and a revolver is a revolver, and never the twain shall meet.

In terms of fully automatic handguns, I'd refer you to the Beretta 93R, along with similar offerings from Browning and Glock.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on December 16, 2012 - 7:03pm.

Flyer: Both the US Army and USMC have been training for a "zombie apocalypse" scenario. While this sounds nonsensical on its face, the cold reality is that these are actually civil unrest/insurrection operations and the military leadership does not want to tell those soldiers and Marines that they are actually preparing to fire upon American citizens in case such scenarios come to pass.

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